Archive for July, 2014

July 30, 2014

Does harm to community property indicate either side’s intentions in the current IDF-Hamas conflict?

As I’ve shown with research into targeting and destruction of cultural and community property in the Cyprus Conflict, analysis of the buildings that were targeted by rioters in Greece and querying of the official narrative of those riots, documentation of the Israeli state domicide of the Bedouin village of Al-Araqib, etc., as Christopher Jones has shown with his collations of attacks on historic sites in Iraq (which identified prioritisation of first Shia then Sunni targets), information on political violence against objects and buildings can help to demonstrate and predict strategies of violence. Does it reveal anything about the intentions of Hamas or the IDF in their current struggle?

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July 30, 2014

Is the Iraqi News report of the destruction of Imam Yahya Abu al-Qasim Mosque accurate? No.

An old truism has become known as (technology journalist Ian) Betteridge’s Law of Headlines: ‘any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word “no”‘. I think that can basically be extended to the question in your head whenever you first read a headline on Iraqi News.

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July 29, 2014

There is no evidence that the al-Tahera Church (of the Immaculate/Virgin Mary) in Mosul has been destroyed (yet)

Simone Muehl has continued to collate sources on Endangered Heritage Sites in Iraq for fact-checking and analysis. There have been reports that the Islamic State(1) has demolished the Chaldean al-Tahera Church of the Immaculate in the al-Shifa neighbourhood of Mosul, but there is no evidence that it has been destroyed yet. The reports in Iraqi News, Kurdistani media and Al Qurtas News all use false evidence to corroborate unevidenced government claims. (Still, the Caliphate’s plan for elimination of any and all non-conformist elements is already clear.)

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July 28, 2014

The Shrine-Mosque of Prophet George/Nabi Jirjis has been destroyed

Unfortunately, the evidence for the destruction of the Shrine of Prophet George/Mosque of Nabi Jirjis is simple, and the confident implementation of the Islamic State’s agenda of eradication is plain.

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July 28, 2014

Confirmed: the Shrine-Mosque of Prophet Seth/Nabi Sheet has been destroyed

The Iraqi Media Network broadcast a video of the destruction of a mosque on the 25th of July, allegedly of the Shrine-Mosque of the Prophet Seth/Shayt/Sheet. Reggie Davis @davreg37, Fanar Haddad @fanarhaddad and Jane Moon @EaNasir shared the news (responsibly, with the caution/appeal that it had only been reported, not confirmed). It seems likely that it has been destroyed, but I’m not confident that each piece of evidence shared is valid.

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July 28, 2014

The Shrine of Mashhad al-Imam ‘Awn al-Din has been destroyed (Mosul, Iraq, 25th July 2014)

I’m beginning to catch up with the bad news that’s arrived while I’ve been offline. First of all, various cuts of a video via Gilgamesh Nabeel, Christopher Jones @cwjones89 and Simone Muehl), including a quick blast-only clip that I found, correspond to photographs and descriptions of a site on Archnet, the Shrine of Mashhad al-Imam ‘Awn al-Din.

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July 25, 2014

mistake after mistake in Sunday Times report on Islamic State looting of antiquities

Previously, I reported on the Sunday Times‘ claims that the Islamic State was profiting from looting, dealing and smuggling of antiquities from Syria and Iraq, and Paul Barford’s debunking of a key piece of allegedly forensic evidence. (The Interpol/Bonhams case could not possibly have involved the Islamic State.) There are still more questions than answers, but at least there are now new questions.

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July 24, 2014

Confirmed: the Shrine of Jonah/Mosque of Yunus (Nineveh, Mosul, Iraq) has been destroyed

The photographs are new, from different angles, from different moments in the process, from different people of different politics; their details match up with the details on other photos and satellite images. Christopher Jones (@cwjones89) and I agree: it’s gone; the Islamic State has blown up the Shrine of Jonah/Mosque of Yunus.

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July 23, 2014

Are these the photos being used to further terrify Christian refugees from Mosul?

On the evening news, San Diego 6 reported an international story that was all too close to home: ‘Local Iraqis worry about family still in Iraq as ISIS ramps up threats.’ After repeated waves of forced migration, there are already more than 35,000 Chaldean Catholic Iraqi refugees (and descendants) in the San Diego area alone.

It was a powerful interview, with a relative of an endangered family, by a concerned journalist. The risk to the community in Iraq is grimly real, and the anxiety of the community in the diaspora (in this case, in the United States) is unimaginable, but they are being subjected to psychological torture through propaganda as well as lethal violence. Incidentally, the paper trail for this report may indicate the source of the “confirmed” rumours of undocumented destruction.

Islamists, do not try to use my research for your propaganda: the Islamic State’s bigotry and violence is all too real.

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July 21, 2014

Ιράκ: δεν υπάρχει καμιά μαρτυρία ότι πυρπολήθηκε η Εκκλησία του Αγίου Πέτρου στη Μοσούλη

Φιλαδέλφεια Χαλκηδόνα έχει δημοσιογραφήσει/δημοσιεύσει ότι οι ψυχανώμαλοι εξτρεμιστές του Ισλαμικού Κράτους/του Χαλιφάτου είχαν έκαψαν την ιστορική εκκλησία του Αγίου Πέτρου στη Μοσούλη.

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